On Monday both CNET and Mashable reported that the Internet Hacktivist group Anonymous was threatening to “shutdown” Facebook on January 28th. The reporters gathered their information from a video uploaded to YouTube early Monday morning by the YouTube account “AnonymousVoice777.” The movie has since been removed.

Similarly, on Wednesday TechCrunch reported that Anonymous was responsible for Facebook’s downtime early Wednesday afternoon.

These reports were not only false, but also clearly not well thought-out.

There are many clues and obvious facts as to why this would never happen, and why the video is clearly not Anonymous.

1. There were no tweets backing up the video in Mashable’s report from any of the official Anonymous Twitter accounts. It is very unusual for Anonymous to run an operation without broadcasting their plan of attack to the world on social media.

2. It’s nearly impossible for Facebook to be taken down by a DDoS attack. Facebook has over 800 million users that it serves an enormous amount of data to on a daily basis. In order to DDoS Facebook, Anonymous would need to have enough computers pinging Facebook simultaneously that it would overwhelm Facebook’s bandwidth limits. Being that Facebook is built to handle an immense amount of traffic, the botnet used to DDoS the site would need to be unrealistically large. Even Anonymous themselves admit a DDoS attack on Facebook wouldn’t work.

3. Anonymous would never take down their own means of broadcasting and communication. Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr are all utilized by Anonymous as a means for broadcasting their operations, news, and attacks. It would be illogical for them to remove one of the lifelines to their organization’s structure and promotion.

Big media has once again fallen to the number one rule of journalism: fact checking. Similar to the Joe Paterno false report, Mashable, CNET, and TechCrunch failed to utilize any outside sources to check the legitimacy of the video or tweets they supplied as evidence. Mashable’s article was shared over 2,500 times on Twitter before it was updated and corrected, which presumably resulted in thousands of views. Tech journalism, like any form of journalism, requires an in-depth look at the facts before any “truth” can be reported. Rest assured Anonymous will not be attacking Facebook anytime soon, that would be completely counterproductive.

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